Did anyone else think Nintendo was crazy when they announced a 3D capable handheld that didn’t require glasses? But, of course, history has proven that underestimating Nintendo tends to be a mistake. The 3DS exploded onto the scene with its new gimmick being backed up by some truly great releases. Not to mention the full backward compatibility with the established DS library of games.
Join us as we celebrate the best Nintendo 3DS games that defined the handheld’s legacy and stood the test of time.
10. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask presents players with a captivating blend of puzzle-solving and a compelling narrative. Players assume the role of Professor Hershel Layton, a renowned archaeologist and puzzle enthusiast, as he investigates a mysterious masked figure and uncovers the secrets of a cursed city.
The objective is to solve various challenging puzzles, riddles, and brainteasers throughout the game. Miracle Mask captivated players with its charming characters, intricate puzzles, and engaging storyline. Its immersive world, beautiful hand-drawn art style, and sense of accomplishment from solving mind-bending puzzles made it a standout title on the Nintendo 3DS.
9. Mario Kart 7
Mario Kart 7 takes the beloved kart racing franchise to new heights on the Nintendo 3DS. Players choose from a diverse cast of characters and race across imaginative tracks filled with power-ups, obstacles, and shortcuts.
The objective is to finish in first place and claim victory. Mario Kart 7 captivated players with its polished gameplay, addictive multiplayer battles, and exciting new features such as gliding and underwater segments. The game’s vibrant visuals, catchy music, and extensive customization options ensured endless hours of fun and fierce competition among friends and online opponents.
8. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is a spiritual successor to the beloved A Link to the Past on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Players embark on a parallel adventure as Link, journeying through the kingdom of Hyrule and the mysterious world of Lorule. The game’s objective is to rescue Princess Zelda, defeat the villainous Yuga, and restore balance to the realms.
Players loved A Link Between Worlds’ innovative gameplay mechanic that allowed Link to merge into walls and navigate between dimensions. Its nostalgic yet fresh take on the classic Zelda formula, captivating dungeons, and memorable music made it a must-play title for fans of the series.
7. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon continues the ghost-hunting adventures of the beloved Luigi. Players control Luigi as he explores haunted mansions armed with the Poltergust 5000, a vacuum cleaner used to capture mischievous ghosts. The objective is to solve puzzles, defeat powerful spirits, and restore peace to the haunted locations.
Dark Moon captivated players with its charming humor, clever puzzle design, and atmospheric ghost-filled environments. The game’s diverse mansions, creative use of the 3D effect, and Luigi’s endearing personality made it a standout title. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon showcased the Nintendo 3DS’s unique capabilities.
6. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate immerses players in a thrilling hunting adventure where they take on the role of a hunter in a vibrant fantasy world. The objective is to track and battle colossal monsters, collect resources, and craft powerful weapons and armor.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate captivated players with its deep combat mechanics, cooperative multiplayer mode, and a vast array of monsters to conquer. The game’s emphasis on strategy, teamwork, and progression appealed to fans of challenging action RPGs, offering countless hours of addictive gameplay and the satisfaction of overcoming formidable foes.
5. Super Mario 3D Land
Super Mario 3D Land combines the best of 2D and 3D Mario games into a captivating platforming adventure. Players guide Mario through a series of imaginative levels, collecting power-ups and defeating enemies on a quest to save Princess Peach from the clutches of Bowser. The game’s objective is to navigate through diverse worlds, tackle inventive challenges, and reach the end-of-level flagpole.
Super Mario 3D Land captivated players with its imaginative level design, clever use of the 3D effect, and the perfect blend of nostalgic elements and fresh gameplay ideas. Its responsive controls, joyful atmosphere, and the ability to switch between 2D and 3D perspectives made it a standout title on the Nintendo 3DS.
4. Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem: Awakening revitalized the tactical RPG genre with its compelling characters, deep strategy, and engaging storyline. Players assume the role of a customizable protagonist and lead a band of warriors to defend the kingdom of Ylisse from an ancient evil. The game’s objective is to strategically position units, utilize their unique abilities, and forge relationships between characters.
Awakening captivated players with addictive turn-based battles, intricate character interactions, and a robust class system. Including a Casual mode, which eliminated permanent character death, making it more accessible to newcomers while maintaining the challenge for veteran players.
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Animal Crossing: New Leaf offers a charming and relaxing life simulation experience. Players become the mayor of their own town, interacting with anthropomorphic animal villagers and engaging in various activities such as fishing, bug catching, and fossil hunting. The objective is to customize and expand the town, build relationships with villagers, and create the ideal virtual life.
New Leaf captivated players with its adorable characters, immersive gameplay, and endless possibilities for customization. The game’s real-time mechanics, regular events, and the ability to visit other players’ towns made it a beloved and long-lasting experience on the Nintendo 3DS.
2. Pokémon Sun and Moon
Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced a new generation of Pokémon and breathed new life into the beloved franchise. Players embark on a journey as a Pokémon Trainer in the Alola region, collecting and training Pokémon while battling against other Trainers. The objective is to become the Champion of the Pokémon League and unravel the region’s mysteries.
Sun and Moon captivated players with their fresh take on the Pokémon formula, vibrant new Pokémon designs, and a captivating storyline. The games’ Alolan forms, dynamic battles, and improved online features made them a hit among casual and competitive Pokémon players.
1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D brings the timeless classic to handhelds with enhanced visuals and new features. Players embark on an epic quest as Link to rescue Princess Zelda and defeat the evil Ganondorf. The game’s objective is to navigate dungeons, solve puzzles, and defeat enemies in a vast open world.
Ocarina of Time 3D captivated players with its immersive storyline, memorable characters, and ingenious dungeons. The game’s 3D effect added depth to its breathtaking environments. The refined controls and updated visuals made it a must-play title for longtime fans and newcomers to the series.